Marketing Tips Blog

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If you’re an author, there’s a good chance you’ve hit that “boost” button on Facebook, shelled out a little (or a lot) of money and hoped for the best. And in recent years, this was a great choice. Facebook marketing has been a cheap, effective way to reach consumers. But, as you know, the world of digital marketing changes as often as a new iPhone comes out. As a social media platform, Facebook is trending downwards.

Don’t Judge a Book by its (Back) Cover

Even if you’re brand new to writing, you’ve probably already given a great deal of thought to your book’s cover art. However, according to marketing consultant Rob Eager, you may need to give equal attention to the back cover copy.

Here is an excerpt from his recent post Write Back Cover Copy That Boost Book Sales:

What if the back cover copy for a book is more important than the front cover art with the title and subtitle?

You’ve heard the old adage “never judge a book by its cover.” I agree, because these days, people don’t judge a book by the front cover. Instead, they judge a book by the back cover copy they see displayed front and center on the book’s sales page at Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.com, and dozens of other website retailers.

Today, almost 70% of all books are purchased online. That means back cover copy is the new front cover. Those words are the first thing many shoppers see when looking at a specific title. Therefore, that text plays a bigger role than ever before. Bad text will bore readers and lose their interest. Good text will help persuade the reader to purchase. If a book lacks compelling back cover copy, a lot of sales can be lost both online and in the bookstores.

I’ve taught numerous clients how to write convincing back cover copy that helped their books hit the bestseller lists. Below is my four-step process that works for most non-fiction books. (For memoirs and fiction, skip further down this article):


Step 1 – Display an attention-grabbing hook.



Present an attention-grabbing hook in the form of a statement or a question in large bolded font across the top of the back cover. Make it jump out from the other text. Use the technique, “What if I told you _____?” to help create an effective marketing hook. Here are examples of book hooks that help get people’s attention:

  • Everyone speaks. Not everyone is heard.
  • You can cure the disease to please.
  • What if you could say no without feeling guilty?
  • Discover how to sell books like wildfire.

Step 2 – Describe the need for your book in society


In the first paragraph under the top marketing hook, use 2 – 4 sentences to explain the big problem in society and the need for your book to exist. What is the big problem you’ve noticed that is affecting thousands of people? What are the consequences people are experiencing? Don’t get too dark or negative. But, state the reality that people are encountering. Below is a good example from the book, The Power of a Positive No:

Every day we find ourselves in situations where we need to say No–to people at work, at home, and in our communities–because No is the word we must use to protect ourselves and to stand up for everything and everyone that matters to us. But as we all know, the wrong No can also destroy what we most value by alienating and angering people. That’s why saying No the right way is crucial.


Step 3 – Tell the reader the specific payoff of your book.


Under the problem paragraph, use the transition sentence, “This book will help you…” and then list 4 – 5 bulleted statements that describe specific results people will experience from reading your book. Various examples of effective value statements might be:

  • Escape the guilt of disappointing others by learning the secret of the small no.
  • Increased confidence to control your emotions in sticky situations.
  • Connect and communicate well with team, family and friends
  • Break the “I’ll start again Monday” cycle and start feeling good about yourself today.

Step 4 – Clarify your credibility as an expert who can be trusted


In a final paragraph under the payoff statements, use 2 – 4 sentences to provide a brief bio in a way that explains why you’re an expert worth following. List your credentials and describe your track record of helping people experience the results described above in Step 3. For example, below is a brief version of my bio that summarizes my expertise and the results that I create for clients in the publishing arena:

Rob Eagar is one of the most accomplished book marketing experts in America and a leading specialist in the field of direct-to-consumer marketing. He’s personally coached over 400 authors, consulted with top publishing houses, and helped clients hit the New York Times bestseller list three different ways, including new fiction, new non-fiction, and backlist non-fiction. He even helped a book become a New York Times bestseller after 23 years in print! For more information, visit: http://www.RobEagar.com

We now live in an age where the vast majority of books are purchased online. Thus, the back cover copy is the first text that shoppers see when choosing to buy a book. Getting people to purchase hinges upon the words they read. Language is the power of the sale. Use my simple steps to insure that your back cover copy helps drive book sales like wildfire.


At Certa Publishing, we have helped countless authors navigate the complexities of book cover design and we would love to share our expertise with you.

 


I’m a Writer, Not a Salesperson!


You’re a pastor. Or maybe an elder in your local church. You might be a stay-at-home mom or a teacher. But you’re probably not a professional salesperson. So now that you’ve written a book, it needs to be sold and you’re feeling a little squeamish. Why? Because it’s likely that your initial “customers” will be friends and family, and that feels awkward. You don’t want to be that friend or family member who is selling a product and making everyone feel obligated to buy it. And yet, you need the support and word-of-mouth marketing of your inner circle. So how do you sell your book to those closest to you without it getting all weird? Here are three ways:


Be Confident


More than likely your book is the result of years worth of prayer, reflection, research and sustained effort. You’ve sacrificed time and money to produce the manuscript. You’ve edited, re-edited and re-edited again. You’ve agonized over words, commas and even deleted entire chapters. This book contains your highest thoughts and deepest revelations. It may even be the result of God’s call on your life. If so…be confident. Be proud. Be assured that your writing is amazing and will greatly benefit those who read it. The temptation will be to say something like this,

Uncle Mike, I hate to be pushy, but it would really mean a lot to me if you would buy my book.

Instead, try this,

theres still time
Perhaps you had good intentions at the end of last year to craft the ultimate 2019 marketing plan. But then December flew by as December does, and you’ve found yourself at the end of January without a plan. But there is still plenty of time to make this happen. Glenn Leibowitz’s recent post at LinkedIn offers this advice:


If you’re wondering where to begin and how to structure [your 2019 marketing plan], here’s a set of questions you can ask that will help you generate the ideas you need to flesh out your plan. If you’re unable to provide immediate answers to some of these, go out and do some research: Talk to coworkers, customers, and suppliers. Read articles and books. Listen to podcasts. And then start filling in the blanks.

1. Who are your primary audiences?

Everything you say in your content marketing plan, whether it’s in written form or through video or audio, needs to address a very specific set of audiences. Who are they exactly? Can you define them beyond generic demographic categories like age, gender, and income? If you were to prioritize them, which two or three target audiences would you choose to focus on in your communications?

 


Social Media: Going Beyond the Basics


It took you a while, but you’ve embraced social media. You’ve taken the plunge and established yourself on Twitter, Facebook and maybe even Instagram. You’re enjoying the feedback and extra exposure it’s giving you, and you’re seeing the value of the online interactions your work is receiving. But now you’re stuck. How do you take it to the next level? Now you’re back to feeling intimidated again. Never fear, we are here to help! Here’s a quick primer on the writer’s Big Three: Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. It doesn’t have to be as intimidating as you think.


Tweet Like a Pro

Twitter is mostly comprised of strangers having conversations. Weird, right? It’s true. So keep that in mind with your posts. Ann Handley, author of Everybody Writes (a book we highly recommend), says,

Tweets work best as dialogue, because dialogue establishes rapport and encourages interaction. [However,] even though you might be talking to strangers on Twitter, you’re still talking to people. So write every tweet as you would speak it… to your girlfriend, boyfriend, significant other, dog, cat… or whoever…